web analytics

They were different then

If you were anywhere near social media yesterday, you probably saw this story, but I wanted more than the tweet version.

In 1930, Indiana Bell needed a new headquarters because the old one was too small. They wanted it on the same lot, but the old building had to keep functioning throughout. So they moved the building sixteen yards South, rotated it 90 degrees and then moved it 30 yards West and built the new building on the spot it had just vacated.

It moved about fifteen inches a month, mostly by way of hand-operated jacks. When all the jacks were pumped, the building moved 3/8 of an inch.

The building was fully functional the whole time: gas, electricity, sewage, phone. There was a wooden sidewalk built in the shape of an arc around the movement.

The original building was demolished in 1963. 🙁

More story from Kottke, Amusing Planet, Wikipedia. Animation: YouTube, GIF.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: March 23, 2021, 2:28 am

Very interesting! I’m especially impressed that they did it by hand operated hydraulics. That animated GIF is cool!

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 23, 2021, 8:41 am

The Chinese did something like this a year ago – moved a building on hydraulic jack robot feet.
The video was impressive.

But in the old days, when they wanted to do something, dammit, they did it. Like build the Panama Canal, or the Hoover Dam, or the British Rail system, tunnels, trestles, bridges. Vision, ingenuity and dreams.

Not surprising they moved a building back then, because back then we could do anything.
Like go to the moon.

Comment from JC cOLLINS
Time: March 24, 2021, 7:04 am

Wow. i LIKE THAT. I’m a master of moving big things with low tech (I actually have a DBA as ‘Lo Tech’), but my best is 32 tons, using a pinch bar and some iron pipe. The whole job site closed down to watch me work. I didn’t break a sweat. Yes, that’s me rocking.
Guy offered to give me a hand, let me use his forklift. Nah, I’m just showin’ off, dude. Thirty two tons gonna break your fucking forklift. I got it. Rollin on iron pipe and a stick

Comment from Teej
Time: March 25, 2021, 9:44 pm

Durned, in 1969 I thought by the time I was this old, I’d have my choice of which planet to live on (or be buried in). Can’t believe we’ve spend the time since then fussing around in LEO.

Comment from blake
Time: March 29, 2021, 4:59 pm

They WERE different. If something needed to get done…well, durnedyankee said it…

If you wanted to point to a single element of the decadence of the West, it could be that. Because if you want to get things done NO MATTER WHAT all the other noise (muh…whatevers) has to drop out.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 29, 2021, 8:58 pm

Well, now, we have the internet, and every mother loving weirdo and snowflake has a megaphone, a virtual street corner, and an instant crowd of likeminded megaphone wielding idjits from all over any country, and the world, to scream about whatever little thing they’re worried about.
This obviously amplifies their personal triggers to eleventy.

But the part where the foolishness really engages, is that the rest of us pay ANY attention to them.

They have as much power as WE give them, and lately we’ve given them a tremendous amount of power for no reason I can readily discern, other than we don’t want people we don’t know, have never met, and never will meet, thinking that we’re not nice people, over the internet.

Comment from Timbotoo
Time: April 3, 2021, 8:08 pm

My first thought was, sheesh after all that effort, they demolished it?

Write a comment

(as if I cared)

(yeah. I'm going to write)

(oooo! you have a website?)

Beware: more than one link in a comment is apt to earn you a trip to the spam filter, where you will remain -- cold, frightened and alone -- until I remember to clean the trap. But, hey, without Akismet, we'd be up to our asses in...well, ass porn, mostly.

<< carry me back to ol' virginny